Chartridge House, Windrush Drive and St. Hughs Avenue
On Wednesday 12 February, a presentation was held with our customers who live in Chartridge House, Windrush Drive and St Hughs Avenue.
We spoke to them about our plans to demolish Chartridge House and how this may include some of the flats at Windrush Drive and St Hughs Avenue.
We’re really early in the process of redevelopment/regeneration plans, but wanted to be open, honest and transparent about our reasons behind the redevelopment of Chartridge House and why we don’t know yet what our plans are for the entire site.
As our plans develop, we'll continue to update this page, so please do continue to check-in.
Frequently asked questions
Why did we start to review Chartridge House/Windrush Drive for development?
As part of our Sheltered Housing Review in 2013, we identified that we had an over supply of sheltered homes of more than 530. We set about reviewing each of our schemes and as result we closed down a handful of them and gave Charteridge House another five years before closure.
Chartridge House is a poorly performing scheme not only because it is not as desirable to the community, but it also costs more to our tenants to run and manage than we receive in rent revenue. We are here to realise the potential in our communities and deliver value for money. We want your homes to be somewhere you are proud of.
We also have a very high number of sheltered homes that we are hard to let, the way people live their lives has changed and we need our homes to reflect this.
What homes are included?
The whole of Chartridge House and provisionally homes 1-42 of Windrush Drive. However, we're speaking to our customers at 34-50 St. Hughs Avenue as this project may impact their local area and the use of the Chartridge House communal facilities. St. Hughs could potentially be part of the final development plans.
What options are we considering?
Demolition and redevelopment of Chartridge House and possibly some homes on Windrush Drive. We're still exploring whether this will include parts of St. Hughs Avenue. We're looking to provide new, affordable, high-quality, much needed local housing. Homes that are energy-efficient and well-designed.
Why does it take so long to decide what is happening here?
We're working as fast as we can on all of our development programme sites, but it takes time for our appointed architects and other consultants to work up the project proposals, cost the works and obtain planning advice, there is a lot of the specialist work to undertake. A project this size is complex and involves input of a large number of external consultants. We also need to undertake full consultation with our customers.
Will you still carry out repairs to my home?
Yes. Any repair can still be reported in the normal way, by calling 01494 476100 or emailing email@example.com. We'll continue to carry out essential repairs but will not be investing in major component upgrades such as kitchens, bathrooms and windows etc. as this would not provide value for money for our customers rent.
Where can I move?
If you're a sheltered tenant with a non-shorthold tenant, you'll have the opportunity to move to another sheltered scheme, where we have availability. If you're unsure about your situation or tenancy, we'll discuss this in your face to face meeting which we'll arrange with you.
Given there is no sheltered housing proposed will I have to move?
As the sheltered housing provided is not fit for purpose without considerable investment, and we have an oversupply of this type of accommodation in the district, we're not proposing replacing sheltered homes on this site. We'll speak to you about your specific requirements, how long the regeneration will take and if you wish to move an alternative sheltered scheme.
We'll consider your views on the area you would like to move to, which could be where you have family connections and try to accommodate this as much as possible.
If you must move and are a non-shorthold tenant, we'll try and find you a new home in one of our other sheltered schemes. This may mean you have to wait until a home becomes available or we work with Buckinghamshire Council to find another Housing Association home that you could move into. Our Decant Policy* sets out your rights and our responsibilities if you must move. (Decant = moving and relocating of residents)
Can I move back to this area if my home becomes general needs?
Yes, if you're comfortable living without the extra support of sheltered living, however, it maybe that your circumstances and needs are best suited to sheltered housing. If this is the case we'll find you an alternative suitable home.
Why are you serving demolition notices now?
It means that we're being open about our intentions to develop the area and starts a conversation about how and when we do this. We need to start to prepare the site for development,. This also means that we suspend ‘Right to Buy’ applications. This avoids messy situations occurring whilst decisions are being made. We're required to serve demolition notices where we intend to carry out redevelopment which involves the demolition occupied homes.
Will I be compensated if I have to move?
As part of the Decant Policy (for our Preserved Rights Assured non-shorthold tenant or a Non-preserved Rights tenants), there'll be a compensation package. We will also cover moving costs such as postal redirection, removals and new carpets (listed later in this document – See question 21) if yours cannot be moved and refitted. You'll receive a
Statutory Home Loss payment, which is set by the government, currently this amount is £6,400.
Can I decide to move now?
If you're a resident of Chartridge House and are assured non shorthold, you can apply for a transfer through Bucks Home Choice if eligible. If you're a resident of Windrush Drive, you must wait until a firm decision is made on the scheme, as at this stage is less likely than Chartridge House.
Are Red Kite trying to make money out of redeveloping our schemes?
No, as a charity, it's important to remember that we are a not-for-profit organisation and any surpluses we generate are re-invested into our existing homes, or used to build new ones for local people.
What happens next?
You will be served with an Initial Demolition Notice (IDN) if you live in Chartridge House and Windrush Drive. We'll continue to develop designs for the new homes and continue to consult with residents to keep you updated on progress this will involve meeting with you face to face, sending you newsletters and updating our website with the latest position.
We're not looking to start moving anyone within the next year. Our face to face meeting with you will be to provide further information, address any concerns and provide reassurance.
We can provide further clarity on what this whole process means for you, but the first meeting will not be to start the moving process. We do not need to think about that until next year.
Roughly when will I be expected to move?
We'll not start to move residents until mid-2021. We'll not start the conversations around moving for a minimum of 3 months from February 2020. We will start to talk to you later in the year to discuss your needs and requirements well ahead of the time you need to move. Where it is necessary to move tenants, we'll help handle the whole process, so no need to panic or worry.
I want to come back to the new Chartridge House redevelopment, how long will it be before new homes are ready?
If we get planning permission following submission in 2021, we anticipate starting early 2022/23. We need to allow about 18-24 months for the whole construction process. To be realistic, you'll not be able to return to the new development until 2023/24, depending on how the development work is timed. We (if it includes any wider area) do expect the regeneration to be phased and will be publishing more details later in the year, together with a timeframe for moving.
What if I don’t want to move at all?
Chartridge House does need to be demolished and it will not be possible for you to remain in your home while this happens, however this is not something you have to worry about for now. When the time comes we will work with you to find you a suitable home. You will receive up to three offers of suitable alternative homes that will reasonably meet your needs.
If we are unable to agree a move with you, we can issue a Notice of Seeking Possession. This is not an eviction notice but it gives you notice that we may instruct our solicitors to take further action to recover possession of your home within the following 12 months.
Of course that’s the last, last resort, we are not interested in doing things that way, we will work closely with you to find a new permanent or temporary home that will meet your needs.
What if I want to move now?
We will not be moving anyone for a minimum of 3 months, this will allow you time to think about what this means for you and for us to ensure the process is efficient, well-managed and programmed.
When will you pay my moving costs and home loss payment?
Once you are ready to move we will discuss with you in detail the payments that will be made and the process. Home loss payments will be made when you leave your existing home. Disturbance payments will be made in respect of moving customers to temporary and permanent homes. We will share more information with you, leading up to the time you will need to move. We will work with you to arrange new carpets, curtains etc. (see question 19 for more detail) where possible and if you are unable to arrange any part of the move yourself.
What is a Home Loss Payment?
A Home Loss Payment is a statutory fixed payment of £6,400 to compensate you for the loss of your home due to redevelopment or improvement works. This amount is set by the government and does change annually.
Am I eligible for a Home Loss Payment?
If you have lived in your home for 12 months ending on the date of you being required to move and this has been you main residence, yes. There is one payment per household.
What is a disturbance payment?
A disturbance payment is a payment we give to cover expenses you incur if we ask you to move due to redevelopment or improvement works.
The amount paid varies, depending on your individual household circumstances. Generally, the following expenses can be covered:
- Removal expenses (cost of removal firm or hire of van)
- Disconnection and reconnection of domestic appliances (cooker/washing machine)
- Disconnection and reconnection of telephone and one extension
- Disconnection and reconnection of television aerial/cable
- Connection costs for any existing Sky subscription
- Redirection of post for up to three months
- Refitting and/or adaptation of curtain rails
- Refitting security alarms or other security equipment
- Refitting of other fixtures and fittings
- Any re-provision of existing adaptations that are required for a disabled tenant
- Cost of altering existing or purchasing new carpets and curtains – the cost will be capped (more information will be provided nearer the time)
Who pays my Rent, Council Tax, Utilities etc when I move out?
You are responsible for the bills in the home you occupy up to the date you move out. When you move out of your home you stop paying the bills for that property and when you move into your new home, you start paying the bills from the date you move in.
If I must move to temporary accommodation whilst you are rebuilding my replacement home, where will it be?
As far as possible we will do our best to make sure your temporary home is in a location that is suitable for your needs and is close to relatives and work. However, homes are in short supply so we would ask you to work with us and make reasonable compromises for the time you will be temporary accommodation.
Will I pay the same rent in a temporary home?
This is a transfer to a new property. Your needs will be assessed and a property provided on that basis, you will be required to pay the rent applicable to that property. We are not looking for you to be worse-off than your current situation.
Will my temporary home be decorated?
Yes, we will ensure that temporary homes have been painted and have suitable floor finishes before you move in.
Will I lose any of the rights I enjoy under my current tenancy?
No. All of your existing assured tenancy rights will be transferred to a new property. Of course, if there is a change in the number of bedrooms this will be reflected in the new rent payment. For those tenants who transferred from Wycombe District Council, if you aren’t paying a service charge for a particular service at your exisiting home, you will not be expected to pay for that service at the new property. However, if you were not receiving that service at the old property but you have started to receive a new service then you will be charged. Once again, we are not looking for you to be worse-off than your current situation, all this will be taken into consideration when offering you a property.
If I come back to a regenerated Chartridge House development area will I still have my Preserved 'Right to Buy' or 'Right to Acquire'?
Anyone who was a secure tenant with Wycombe District Council and transferred to Red Kite is likely to have the preserved ‘Right to Buy’. Any Red Kite Assured tenants who were not tenants with Wycombe District Council are likely to have the ‘Right to Acquire’.
Please note that the new homes will be subject to a ‘cost floor’. This means that they cannot be sold for less than the cost of building and acquiring the property for a period of 15 years after you have moved in.
Will I be able to pick my new home in the Chartridge House development area when it’s built?
Each tenant returning to the new development area will be able to pick their preferred home, of a similar size (like for like to your existing one). We will ask you for your choice of three homes, so if the situation arises where two tenants/households have chosen the same home we will act in a fair and transparent way on how the new home is allocated.
If I want to return will my rent/service charges go up for the new homes built if my new flat has the same number of bedrooms?
New rents will be set at the target social rent levels that apply at the time of letting (there is a government formula that determines what these rents should be). Until the scheme has been fully designed, we cannot set the service charges. Depending on the final design and specification, charges may rise. However, as the new homes will have increased standards of any insulation we expect residents to benefit from reduced heating bills. This may offset the additional service charge or rental cost, if these are relevant. Please see the answer to question 26.
There is a strong sense of community where I live. Will my neighbours and I be kept together in the new arrangements if we choose?
It is very important to Red Kite to ensure that existing communities continue to thrive. We will do our best to locate tenants in the new blocks according to their wishes, although this will depend on where you move and the layout of the new buildings. It is important that you make your views known when Red Kite staff consult with you.
I have a car parking space/garage, will I still have the same where I move to?
As part of our consultation, we will be establishing what amenities customers have, for example, which customers have a designated car parking space. We will make every effort to meet your needs, but we cannot guarantee that we will be able to offer parking spaces/garages with any new home.
Are you trying to gentrify the renewal areas by bringing in lots of private housing?
No, we may be introducing some new homes for sale, but this is to ensure that we create a balanced and sustainable community. All homes whether for rent or shared ownership will be the same. We do want to deliver as much affordable housing on the site as we can so the majority if not all the homes will be for affordable rent.
Questions from our consultation meetings with our customers
I use public transport as a form of travel to get to work are you going to rehouse me further away from my job?
We need to understand everyone’s individual needs to help minimise any problems. We will sit down and have 1-2-1 conversations with you to find out your requirements and aim to rehouse you in an area which works for you. Although we cannot make any promises, we can guarantee you, we are not here to make your life inconvenient or difficult. You will be no worse off as a result of our plans.
Can you categorically say you will rehouse everyone?
I live happily on my own in my small studio flat, if I moved into a new home, how will this affect the rent I pay? I don’t have any requirements to have a considerable large space or elaborate looking flat.
Everyone living in Chartridge House will be rehoused, you will be in a facility that meets your needs, this will be based on a social rent.
I don’t believe a studio flat looks the same as mine and I don’t want more sqft of floor space and it concerns me how the rent will work?
We will have 121 conversations with you to talk about your personal circumstances, living conditions and income to ensure your new home is what you require and can afford.
I have spent time and money decorating my home beautifully. Will I lose this?
At this stage please do not worry, we are sure that Chartridge House will be demolished but do not yet have plans for Windrush Drive and St. Hughs Avenue. If we were to move you or a decision was made to redevelop these homes, we would make sure we cover the cost of redecorating and moving you into the same quality of home you are already living in.
I would like to say there are some minor areas in the property that are deteriorating?
Please speak to a member of staff after this meeting to pick up what is affecting you, so we can help you. Whilst we are looking to develop Chartridge House, whilst you are living here, the quality of your housing should remain what you are used to.
If there is any information you want to share with us please do not hesitate to speak with the team we are here to answer any questions and provide you the reassurance you need. We will be in touch in the next few weeks.
What will happen to the lounge room/common room we use?
We will be removing the communal laundry and common room/communal kitchen when Chartridge House is demolished. We will need to understand which of these facilities you use on a regular basis and how you will be affected personally-once they are removed.
The common room is used regularly.
We understand this is going to be a concern this is a central hub for the area and this will be demolished, we would need to look at what we can do to re-provide back to the community. Tenants of Chartridge house will have the option to be rehoused in an area that already has these facilities. For those who do not live in Chartridge House but use the facilities, we would look at how we can re-provide these services.
I live in Windrush Drive/St Hughs Avenue are there any plans to rehouse me temporarily and will I return?
You have the option to move into temporary accommodation and possibly move you back or your move can be permanent. We will discuss these options with you in your 1-2-1 meetings.
Do you have plans to demolish Windrush Drive/St Hughs Avenue?
We are currently considering options and the scale of development, we will review this options and make a decision. If the homes in Windrush Drive are included in the wider redevelopment scheme you will need to move. If you wish to return to the site once built we will work with you to find temporary accommodation whilst the new homes are being built. However, if you do not wish to return we will work with you to find a permanent home before asking you to move from your current property.
If Windrush Drive is ruled out of being developed, when will we be told?
We hope to have a decision by the end of June 2020.
When was Windrush Drive built?
The homes were built during the late 1960s, in considering the redevelopment of these homes their age and condition as well as the future investment needed to maintain them will be taken into account. We also need to consider if these homes will continue to meet modern living standards for the next 30-40 years.
It can be difficult for an elderly person to move home and deal with upset and change.
We appreciate the upset and anxiety that will come with informing you of the potential need to move home. We will do all we can to work quickly to provide you with a final decision of the future of your home. We have the need to move our customers, for many reasons so are used to dealing with these matters, we will be sensitive and caring throughout the process and do what we can to ensure that you fins a temporary or permanent home, depending on you wishes to find you and acceptable home.
What style of home are you looking to build?
We favour traditionally constructed homes built from brick and blocks. We do not have any plans at present for pre-fabrication or modern method of construction homes.
How much notice will be given before we are told we have to move?
We will have 1-2-1 conversations with you to understand your needs and where you are looking to live, this will also depend on the property availability. This can be a lengthy process and can take any time. We do not have any agreed timescales or notice period. It is about getting the process right.
What option do I have for moving to alternate accommodation?
We have sheltered homes in most of the Wycombe District, which includes Marlow, Princes Risborough and Lane End and in many areas we have age designated homes (mainly bungalows). We can also work with other Hosing Associations if you are seeking to move out of the Wycombe district area. We promise you that if you need to move, that it’s as easy as possible.